Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gardening: Running to keep up

I'm planning the next garden work session. Gardening time is in very, very short supply this year. The next session will be some weeks from now (long story), and ideally would include:
  • Planting six beds of potatoes.
  • Planting four Jerusalem artichoke tubers....somewhere.
  • Planting four beds of onion sets.
  • Planting four beds of cosmos.
  • Planting two beds of strawberries.
  • Planting two blueberry plants.
And some other things that I've probably forgotten. This is not a realistic amount of work (18 beds?! Are you mad?) so I need to set priorities.

I ordered three types of potatoes; the "six beds" is based on using up the minimum amount that you can order per variety. So I could narrow the six beds down to three, if my primary goal is trying all three, rather than maximizing the volume of potatoes produced. I could also do some research--could I plant the others much more closely, on the theory of harvesting them as new potatoes? 

I think that I'm just going to insert the Jerusalem artichokes in the ground, any bit of ground, with  no particular prep. Hopefully they'll sprout there rather than rot, and maybe I can transplant them later. That's assuming that they survive in the wait, in the fridge.

The onion sets can produce scallions or be left alone to produce bulb onions. Can I plant them fairly thickly, thin out the scallions, and expect the remaining onions to make bulb onions? Or will that involve too much competition or root disturbance for the bulb onions to happen? Research.

The cosmos tolerate quite poor soil, but...well, I should forget the "but". I could cut some drills in the weed barrier, scratch the soil, plant the cosmos. By the time I would have time to prepare those beds thoroughly, either the cosmos will be up and I won't have to, or they'll have failed and I'll prepare them nicely for, say, zinnias.

We're running out of time for bare root strawberry plants, but not for plants in pots. And, I can transplant some of the excess from the existing strawberry beds. So I don't think that any strawberries will be going in this time.

And I think that blueberries are going to wait Yet Another Year. In the unlikely event that I have some spare time before the ground dries out, I could till in some peat and sulfur, for next year.

So...hurriedly insert the Jerusalem artichokes, get three beds of potatoes planted properly, and then see what I have time for. That's the plan. Oh, and I've got about thirty-six feet of drills that I think could support one more planting of some light feeder, so I should get seeds of something in there.

I reassure myself with what's already in and growing:

  • Five beds, plus enough spare drills to count as a sixth, planted with an assortment of garlic, shallots, French grey shallots, and potato onions.
  • Two beds of snap peas.
  • Four (four?) beds of raspberries.
  • Three existing black currant bushes.
  • Six or seven beds of existing strawberry plants.
  • A couple dozen little nubs of lettuce that will hopefully expand into heads when the weather warms up.
  • Six feet of growing carrots and six feet of just-seeded carrots.
  • Twelve feet of golden beets.
  • Six chives, six garlic chives, a nice big rosemary bush, and we'll see if the sage, oregano, and tarragon come back.
  • An artichoke that will, again, hopefully be back. (The one in front. The one in back was a gopher dinner.)
That's food, yes? Yes! 

That is all.


  1. we should sync up schedules for planting. I want to help!

  2. Hi Martha, I'm looking for a blogging gardener that lives in Central Washington. Our climate is so hot and dry and requires irrigation much more than other places in the Northwest. Are you my fellow blogger? I can use all the garden tips that I can get . . . :)
    Connie :)